Simplicity 5689 – Toddler Wardrobe

Pattern Description: Simplicity 5689
Summer wardrobe for girls includes sleeved dress, sleeveless dress, top, shorts, and skirt. I made the sleeveless dress and the one seam shorts, view D, from summer wardrobe.

Pattern Sizing:
Girls: 2-6x, I made the 3. DD hasn’t tried it on yet.

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it?
Yes. I left off the bow and lace at the bottom.

Were the instructions easy to follow?
Pretty easy, the ones that I followed, except the application of the bias tape on the armholes (see below).

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
LIKE: The dress pattern was 2 pieces. I really like the look of the armholes finished with the bias tape. I haven’t used this method before.

Simplicity 5689LIKE: This is a pattern for one-seam shorts for a woven material. That means there is only 1 pattern piece.

DISLIKE: They never tell you how to figure how much elastic for a waist. The instructions always say to start with a piece that is the same size as the kid’s waist, try on the shorts, and then adjust. Who wants to do all that? I used Sandra Betzina’s recommendation that the elastic be 1.5 inches smaller than the waist.

DISLIKE: The way they have you center the bias tape on the armholes. I think that would be difficult for a beginner, and since the pattern is rated “easy-to-sew”, beginners need to know about this possibly frustrating step. They cut the pattern so that the neck had a 3/8″ seam allowance. They could have done the same thing on the armholes. Well, except the pattern pieces are used for the sleeved dress as well. I recommend that beginners trim off 1/4″ from the arms before applying the bias tape, or if you make your own make it 1″ for the neck and 1.25″ for the arms.

Fabric Used:
Dress: A cotton plaid from the clearance section at Joann’s. I made the bias tape from a matching solid rayon, also from Joann’s. Fuschia is currently DD’s favorite color, so I have quite a bit of it.

Shorts: Hot pink rayon from the stash.

Pattern Alterations or any design changes you made:
Dress: I changed the order of construction to flat construction. It’s a bit quicker.

1. Sew shoulder
2. Finish neck
3. Sew 2nd shoulder
4. Finish arms.
5. Sew side
6. Hem
7. Sew 2nd side.

I made my own bias tape. The pattern calls for 1/2 single fold tape. I made 1″ bias strips. For the neckline, I did not tuck the 2nd edge under. I serge finished the edge of the bias, and that was good enough. I wanted to be sure to have enough room to get the elastic in, and I wasn’t sure that I would if I tucked the bias under to clean finish.

The armholes were a little more problematic. The instructions tell you to put the fold (or center) of the bias at 5/8″. That meant that I had to place the bias tape consistantly 1/4″ from the edge to get enough tape to tuck under and clean finish. Because I make my tape, next time I’ll use 1.25 inch tape.

Shorts: I used the serger to finish the edges and hems, and I used the SB recommendation for elastic length.

Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
Dress: Yes and yes. Just be aware of the armhole/bias tape stuff discussed above.

Shorts: Absolutely. These shorts went together so quickly. My daughter lives in shorts, and all the other patterns that I have for wovens have 2 pattern pieces. I do have some patterns for one-seam knit pants/shorts.

I don’t know that I’d buy the pattern for the shorts, only. I bought it to make the dress and the blouse.
Dress: I’ve been wanting to make DD a simple sleeveless dress, and she keeps asking for me to make her something in fuschia or hot pink. This one fit the bill. I hope she is as happy with it as I am.

Shorts: DD is going to love these. She lives in shorts, and she loves hot pink.


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